At the end of 2020, Fairhaven Wealth Management, a Chicago-based RIA (registered investment advisor), decided it was time for a change. They set an ambitious goal of transitioning over $700 million in client assets to a new custodial services provider in under six weeks. They managed to evaluate multiple custodians, decide on TradePMR, and complete the transition within that six-week timeline. Here is how they did it.
What Fairhaven needed.
Fairhaven started the process by identifying what they needed from a custodial services provider. They had their eyes set on strong growth, and to meet their aggressive growth goals they needed a custodial services provider that would support them every step of the way. They developed a 30+ line-item list of wants and must-haves that they used to evaluate custodians. At the top of this list were advanced technology framework and sophisticated trading capabilities that would allow for their team to customize when needed and systemize when wanted.
What TradePMR offered.
Among the list of prospective custodial service providers was TradePMR. Fairhaven knew very little about the firm but had heard some positive things from industry peers. Fairhaven founder and wealth advisor, Marc Horner, got on the phone with TradePMR CEO, Robb Baldwin, and quickly decided that TradePMR separated itself from the pack. After taking the time to do a deeper dive on TradePMR, Marc and his team found that they not only hit Fairhaven’s long list of criteria, they brought things to the table that hadn’t made their checklist: responsiveness, personal points of connection beyond a transition team, and uncommon flexibility. Fairhaven decided TradePMR was the best fit – from there, it was full steam ahead.
Prepping for transition.
Marc and his team took a surgical approach to this transition. To hit their ideal timeline, they met with TradePMR’s transition team twice a week, on top of internal meetings. They leveraged an in-depth internal tracking system with clearly defined goals for individuals at the firm, all the way down to how individual dollars in accounts were moving. This organization, coupled with the launch of TradePMR’s new Account Uploader tool, enabled this transition to move forward, and take place within this tight timeline. The Account Uploader tool lets TradePMR add hundreds to thousands of accounts at once, while using automation to identify places where Fairhaven/clients need to provide more information or sign additional forms.
Key takeaways from Fairhaven.
Now that the Fairhaven team is fully transitioned and up-and-running with TradePMR, they had four key takeaways from their experience.
- Collaborative – leveraging and looping in the full team throughout the process was deemed to be a must; this brings in more broad-based input and will help keep all stakeholders invested in the process and knowledgeable about how the transition should benefit them.
- Data ownership – keeping detailed and comprehensive databases of client information is critical, and advisors should never rely on their custodians to be the sole holder of that information.
- Quick wins – getting over the hump in the beginning of the transition is incredibly important; start by communicating the move to the clients you have the strongest relationships with, and that momentum will help carry the firm through the transition.
- Relationships – your clients work with your firm because of you, not your service providers; trust your relationships, and use that trust to help minimize any anxiety surrounding the move.
Several months into their relationship with TradePMR, and Fairhaven isn’t looking back. When asked about what they’ve been most surprised by in their first few months with TradePMR, they pointed to the firm’s requests for feedback. TradePMR consistently pings the Fairhaven team for feedback. When their team does have any requests, Fairhaven says they are addressed quickly. Whether Fairhaven needs help navigating TradePMR's Fusion technology platform or if they need an update to TradePMR's offering, their dedicated support team works to make sure they have what they need to help them succeed.
We are incredibly excited to have the Fairhaven team on board and look forward to helping them reach their goals.
To view the full case study on Fairhaven’s transition to TradePMR, click here.
Fairhaven Wealth Management and Trade-PMR, Inc are not affiliates.